Jurek Lubinski on Protecting Europe's Last Primeval Forest /74



This week on For The Wild podcast we are joined by Polish forest protector, Jurek Lubiński. Jurek and his community, Obóz dla Puszczy (Camp of the Forest) are successfully fighting for the rights of this ancient forest’s protection. This forest hosts an enormous amount of biodiversity due to a critical part of the forest ecosystem: dead trees. Over 40 percent of the logging was taking place within the Białowieża UNESCO World Heritage site, in which many animals, lichens, mosses, and fungi are dependent on dead and rotting wood for survival.

On April 19th, ‘Democracy Now’ reported that "Europe’s highest court ordered an immediate halt to large-scale logging in this pristine forest. The ruling by the European Union Court of Justice found Poland violated EU laws by allowing as many as 100,000 ancient trees to be logged in the Bialowieza Forest. Following the ruling, Greenpeace and other forest protectors have demanded Poland’s government drop charges against 300 activists arrested during protests against the illegal logging." The forest protectors are still fighting for the remainder of the forest to become National Park land, and will not leave the forest until it is recognized as such by the Polish government.

Jurek, this week’s guest, is one of the activists camped out with Camp of the Forest-a non-hierarchic, grassroots, no-logo camp based on equality. Theirs is a movement for everyone, “It’s not a movement of some radical fighters. It’s not a movement of young men or young women or any specific social, economical, age group, or gender group. It’s open for anyone, from any country around the world, who wants to come and help protect this forest.”

Thank you to the forest protectors near and far reminding us the power of putting our bodies in the line of that which we love, that which we stand on and for- our Earth. Let’s let these stories be our collective legacy.

Ayana YoungComment